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westofyou
07-18-2008, 11:26 AM
http://joeposnanski.com/JoeBlog/2008/07/17/tidbits/


Iím here in beautiful Cincinnati getting ready for the emotional ďCesar Geronimo going into the Reds Hall of FameĒ weekend. It should be great Ö lots of Big Red Machiners coming back. Hey, did I mention I was writing a book on those guys?

One thing I know I mentioned is that Geronimo is not really the headliner this weekend Ö Cincinnati native Barry Larkin will also be inducted into the Reds Hall. And it reminds me that Iíve long meant to put together a list of great players who grew up in the city where they played their whole career. This is what Iíve come up with so far Ö

Cincinnati: Barry Larkin (Pete Rose does not technically fit because he played a few years in Philadelphia and had those few games in Montreal Ö but I think he was in CIncinnati long enough to be on the list in spirit).

Baltimore: Cal Ripken. Duh. Left this off the first time thanks to a brief brain fog. Born in Havre de Grace, Md., grew up in Aberdeen, Md., played for the Orioles his whole life, the conversation begins with him.

San Diego: Tony Gwynn. You know, I had been led to believe that Gwynn was born and raised in San Diego Ö but Iím looking now and apparently thatís not right. He was born in LA and grew up in Long Beach, which is a good 100 miles away. He did go to San Diego State, but thatís not quite what weíre talking about here.

Kansas City: Frank White. A lot of people donít know that Frank was booed some in his early days Ö people in Kansas City had grown to like second baseman Cookie Rojas and were not ready for him to get replaced Ö especially because Frank REALLY couldnít hit in his younger days.

New York: Lou Gehrig. Born in New York, grew up in New York, went to Columbia, played for the Yankees, died in Riverdale. In many ways he ó more than DiMaggio or Ruth or Mantle or Reggie or Jeter or anyone ó should be considered the ultimate Yankee.

Minnesota: As suggest by several reader, Kent Hrbek. Born in Minneapolis, drafted out of Kennedy High in Bloomington, crusher of 293 home runs, wrestling fan even before the state elected one governor.

Los Angeles: Garrett Anderson. Hereís one I had not really thought about but he sort of fits ó I mean, he didnít grow up in Anaheim (Granada Hills about 50 miles away) but itís generally the same big city, and he has played his entire career for the California Angels, and heís had a very nice career too. *

*Brian Downing might fit here but, as every good Downing fans knows, he was actually signed by the Chicago White Sox and spent the first few years of his career scuffling for that confused organization. And he ended his career in Texas. How about a career 122 OPS+ for Brian Downing ó did you realize it was that high? I realize it was different time, he played a different position, and Iím not trying to knock anyone (Iím really not) but do you realize that Derek Jeterís career OPS+ is 121?

Boston: Could have been Jeff Bagwell. Could have been. Carlton Fisk might count as a New Englander, I guess, but ó and I have to say this surprised me a little ó he played A LOT more games in Chicago than in Boston. He actually played 1,421 games with the Sox and 1,078 in Boston. He was a better overall player in Boston (.281/.356/.481) than in Chicago (.257/.329/.428) but he hit 214 of his 376 home runs with the White Sox.

Detroit: Willie Horton. Excellent suggestion from brilliant reader Kyle. Does not precisely fit the topic because after playing in Detroit for 14 years and a game (he was traded after playing ONE GAME in the Ď77 season) he played in quick succession for Texas, Cleveland (I recall that ó didnít go well), Oakland, Toronto and Seattle. But Detroit native who started for the Tigers and was, of course, instrumental on and off the field during the championship run in 1968.

Chicago: Did not really find a good candidate Ö unless you want to talk about Chicago native Charlie Comiskey.

Philadelphia: Jimmy Dykes played with the Philadelphia Athletics for 15 years, but I doubt he counts (plus he finished his career in Chicago too).

Pittsburgh (from brilliant reader Mikey): Hereís a good one. Honus Wagner. Born in Pittsburgh, played his whole career with the Pirates, died in Pittsburgh.

Anyway, those are the ones who come to mind Ö Iím probably missing some obvious ones. Iím sure you will let me know.

* * *

Back to Larkin Ö I have a buddy who grew up in Cincinnati just about the same time that Larkin was growing up here. My buddy cannot stand Larkin. Part of it is the way Larkin, at the end of his career, griped about the Reds mistreating him. My buddy hasnít lived in Cincinnati in quite some time, but this really set off his Cincinnati sensibilities (Cincibilities?). The way he (and a lot of people in Cincinnati, I suspect) saw it was that the Reds had paid Larkin 27 million smackolas between 2001-2003, during which time Larkin played a total of 260 games, and hit .257/.328/.372. My buddy was not one of the more extreme ones who thought Larkin should give the money back (though he would have appreciated the effort*), but he certainly had no interest in hearing Larkin whine about the Reds at the end of that. I can see the point.

*OK, hereís an ethical question Ö and Iím asking it seriously. Youíre Barry Zito. No, come back here. Youíre Barry Zito And because youíre Barry Zito, we can assume two things:

1. You still have five and a half years left on your $126 million deal.
2. You suck. And while thereís always reason to hope that things will improve (youíre a lefty, youíre crafty, you could always find the Fountain of Moyer), realistically, thereís a pretty good chance that since youíre 30 and a couple of scouts say your stuff is two grades worse now hat it was even two years ago, well, realistically you may continue to suck.

So Öhereís the question. Letís say you continue to suck. Letís say it becomes clear in the next year or so that you will never again be that pitcher. Would you renegotiate your deal and take less money?

Hey, Iím just asking. It goes without saying that you donít have to do that ó even more than that, nobody would even think about asking you to do it. But Iím asking the question because you know the score. You know how poorly you are pitching. You know what you were implicitly promising by signing that big deal Ö and youíre not living up to it. There has to be at least a little guilt hefting that gigantic check to the bank, no?

Of course, on the other hand, you also know that you earned that contract by how well you pitched earlier (and by the grace of GM Brian Sabeanís bout with contract malaria). You also know the playerís union might send Navy Seals to disarm and immobilize you should you even think about cutting your own throat. You also know that if you were to suddenly become Walter Johnson reincarnated, and you went 30-2 each of the next three years with an 0.48 ERA, that the club would feel no real need to renegotiate your contract to the plus.

So, what would you do?

Anyway, my buddy despises Larkin (he never really liked the way Larkin yawned and said ďIt doesnít matter where I play, I just want to play ball,Ē whenever people asked him how he felt about playing ball in his hometown). And so shortly after i wrote on the blog that Larkin should be a slam dunk, first-ballot Hall of Famer, my friend said: ďHow in the world could someone who has never scored 100 runs in a season be a Hall of Famer?Ē

I said: ďThatís not true. He scored 100 runs in a season.Ē

He said: ďLook it up.Ē

So I did. And, yeah, I was right. Larkin scored 100 runs in a season twice. Still, I have to say Ö it was only twice. And Larkinís numbers at first blush donít exactly blow your mind ó 2,300 hits, 200 homers, .295 batting average, three Gold Gloves, nice but probably now eye-popping.

Donít get me wrong ó my opinion has not changed one bit. In my book the guyís a Hall of Famer for sure. He was a Gold Glove shortstop, he had a 116 OPS+, he won an MVP award and he was better the next year. He stole a lot of bases, won nine Silver Sluggers, won a Clemente and Gehrig award, and while I donít think All Star Games are the end all Ö he did play in 12 of them. Thatís pretty remarkable Ö only three shortstops have played in more (Cal Ripken, Ozzie Smith and Luis Aparicio ó Ernie Banks played in more too but not as a shortstop).

I did some figuring and found that only 35 players have played in 12 All-Star Games or more. And of those 35, only three whose five-year waiting period has passed are not in the Hall of Fame. Go ahead and try to name those three.

Plus, Larkin is a guy whose advanced stats show that he was even better than that. His 271 runs created above average (I would prefer using base runs here but I donít have access to those) is fifth all time among shortstops. And his 488 runs created above position ó that is runs created vs. other shortstops of his time ó actually ranks THIRD all time behind only Honus Wagner and Arky Vaughn. And his lifetime .291 EqA (is better than Cal Ripkenís (.283), way better than Ozzie Smith (.261), way, way, way better than Luis Aparicio (.244), better than Phil Rizzuto (.259) or Pee Wee Reese (.271) or even Ernie Banks (.286). Itís also better than Alan Trammell (.282), my pet Hall of Fame candidate.

His fielding stats are also excellent ó he had 101 career defensive Win Shares.

So, from my vantage point he should be a sure thing. But I will say after hearing to my buddy rant and after looking up his stats, donít know if it will work out that way. My buddy, fortunately, does not get to vote.

M2
07-18-2008, 11:34 AM
Honus Wagner started his career in Louisville.

westofyou
07-18-2008, 11:35 AM
Honus Wagner started his career in Louisville.

Yeah he got corrected in the blog... Wagner as a young man in Falls City... Wool suits and cigars, those were the days.

redsmetz
07-18-2008, 11:38 AM
I don't think Honus Wagner fits the bill absolutely either. He played his first three seasons (1897-1899) with Louisville, then a member of the National League. He did play his entire "modern era" career in Pittsburgh.

Edit: Oops, others said it while I was reading the article and typing my reply!

OnBaseMachine
07-18-2008, 12:46 PM
Larkin Should be a Red
Posted 7/18/2008 11:07 AM EDT on Cincinnati.com

This is a no-brainer. His contract with the Nationals ends after this year. His influence is needed here. Larkin, to me, embodied Team. I had the privilege of watching 16 of his 18 seasons here. Guy did everything he was called upon to do. When the Reds had meat in the middle of the order, he batted leadoff. When they needed him to play power ball, he hit 3rd and had 33 homers, in 1996. He was an artist with the glove -- B. Phillips' forefather. When they needed a grounder to the right side, Larkin did it. Sacrifice? Ditto.

When things needed to be said regarding the club's commitment to winning, Larkin said them, but only rarely and never loudly.

There were blemishes: He could be very political. He and Greg Vaughn led the campaign to get Jack McKeon fired, and he shouldnt have left the last game of the 2000 season before it ended. But these were blips on a Hall of Fame career that was marked by routine, low-key excellence.

The Reds could use his example now.

Time to bring Barry home.

http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?category=PluckPersona&U=c77145f462c74fa0ac03babe03d1a7e3&plckController=PersonaBlog&plckScript=personaScript&plckElementId=personaDest&plckPersonaPage=BlogViewPost&plckPostId=Blog%3ac77145f462c74fa0ac03babe03d1a7e3 Post%3a54e1e96f-3362-4215-82c5-5058d07981e4&sid=sitelife.cincinnati.com

KronoRed
07-18-2008, 02:28 PM
Wasn't Vaughn long gone when Jack was fired?

Chip R
07-18-2008, 03:08 PM
Wasn't Vaughn long gone when Jack was fired?


Yeah. Of course maybe Vaughn didn't like McKeon when they were both here.

Unassisted
07-18-2008, 03:11 PM
Larkin, at the end of his career, griped about the Reds mistreating him. My buddy hasn’t lived in Cincinnati in quite some time, but this really set off his Cincinnati sensibilities (Cincibilities?). The way he (and a lot of people in Cincinnati, I suspect) saw it was that the Reds had paid Larkin 27 million smackolas between 2001-2003, during which time Larkin played a total of 260 games, and hit .257/.328/.372. My buddy was not one of the more extreme ones who thought Larkin should give the money back (though he would have appreciated the effort*), but he certainly had no interest in hearing Larkin whine about the Reds at the end of that.
<snip>

Anyway, my buddy despises Larkin (he never really liked the way Larkin yawned and said “It doesn’t matter where I play, I just want to play ball,” whenever people asked him how he felt about playing ball in his hometown).


The Reds could use his example now.

Time to bring Barry home.

The first quote makes me disagree with the second.

http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y11/xXxkalenxXx/omg-do-not-want.jpg

pahster
07-18-2008, 03:11 PM
Yeah. Of course maybe Vaughn didn't like McKeon when they were both here.

Maybe McKeon didn't appreciate Vaughn choking other players. :p:

westofyou
07-18-2008, 03:12 PM
The first quote makes me disagree with the second.

Barry Larkin can't win for losing... I'd take him back in a second.

Joseph
07-18-2008, 03:17 PM
Barry Larkin is exactly the kind of person this team needs to have SOMEWHERE in its operation. He may have had some harsh words at times, but he's classy, well spoken, and knowledgeable about baseball.

OnBaseMachine
07-18-2008, 03:27 PM
Barry Larkin can't win for losing... I'd take him back in a second.

Agreed 100%. Bring him back as a front office type, a coach, an announcer...I don't care, just bring him back where he belongs.

M2
07-18-2008, 03:32 PM
Barry Larkin can't win for losing

Which is why, if I were Larkin, I'd never come back. Too many Reds fans want to lionize one of the absolute worst humans ever to play the game (Pete Rose) and throw mud at one of the best (Larkin). I'd just as soon enjoy my life and stay away from that kind of dysfunction.

Ltlabner
07-18-2008, 03:43 PM
Anyway, my buddy despises Larkin (he never really liked the way Larkin yawned

That certinally seems like a reasonable reason to not care for a ball player.

Cyclone792
07-18-2008, 03:48 PM
Too many Reds fans want to lionize one of the absolute worst humans ever to play the game (Pete Rose) and throw mud at one of the best (Larkin).

Yup.

Sad too, isn't it?

Unassisted
07-18-2008, 03:52 PM
Barry Larkin can't win for losing... I'd take him back in a second.He lost me long before this. I was just taking advantage of the convenient ammunition.

I have no problem with anything he did on the field. I just don't see him as a role model.

OnBaseMachine
07-18-2008, 03:56 PM
Man I miss watching Barry Larkin play. What I miss the most is him taking a fastball on the outside part of the plate and lining it into the right field corner for a double. He was famous for that. But his signature play I remember him most for is him ranging far to his left robbing a single from going into center field and then spinning and firing a strike to the first baseman to steal a hit. I miss those days.

westofyou
07-18-2008, 03:57 PM
I have no problem with anything he did on the field. I just don't see him as a role model.

“Whether you want to or not, you do serve as a role model. People will always put more faith in baseball players than anyone else.”

Brooks Robinson


"I want all the kids to do what I do, to look up to me. I want all the kids to copulate me."

Andre Dawson (outfielder for the Chicago Cubs), when asked about being a role model to the youth of America Andre Dawson was an at the time.


I don't believe professional athletes should be role models. I believe parents should be role models.

Charles Barkley

CrackerJack
07-18-2008, 03:59 PM
Agreed 100%. Bring him back as a front office type, a coach, an announcer...I don't care, just bring him back where he belongs.

Absolutely. The sight of him in a Nats jersey makes me sick.

Would love to see him on the bench or in the FO.

I also think a lot of the stuff he did in his last couple of years was over-blown. He never went public with any of it from what I re-call.

Not sure if he'll be called out on the field for the HOF ceremony - but the fans should give him a roaring standing O.

OnBaseMachine
07-18-2008, 04:00 PM
I have no problem with anything he did on the field. I just don't see him as a role model.

I view him as a great role model. He won both the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award and the Roberto Clemente Award for his character and charity work. He never did drugs or had any problems off the field. He was a great teammate by all accounts...he even learned Spanish in order to communicate with younger players. On the field he was a great leader and team captain and one of the best players in the game. I honestly can't think of a better role model than Barry Larkin.

Yachtzee
07-18-2008, 04:10 PM
That certinally seems like a reasonable reason to not care for a ball player.

I don't really understand that quote. The only "yawning" I can think of was Barry's signal of opening his mouth to indicate to pitcher and the catcher that he would be taking the throw to second on a steal or pickoff attempt. If that's what this guy is thinking of, then it's just another example of an uninformed Reds fan failing to understand one of the Reds' best players.

Unassisted
07-18-2008, 04:10 PM
“It doesn’t matter where I play, I just want to play ball,” whenever people asked him how he felt about playing ball in his hometown.That could just as easily be "I don't care which FO I work in, I just want to work in a FO." I doubt he's in a hurry to get back to Cincinnati.

Chip R
07-18-2008, 04:12 PM
Which is why, if I were Larkin, I'd never come back. Too many Reds fans want to lionize one of the absolute worst humans ever to play the game (Pete Rose) and throw mud at one of the best (Larkin). I'd just as soon enjoy my life and stay away from that kind of dysfunction.


The old saying, "abscence makes the heart grow fonder" would probably apply here. There are a minority of fans that don't like Larkin but you could say that about any ballplayer. There were probably Yankee fans who didn't like Babe Ruth. Guaranteed he'll get a hero's welcome tomorrow night and if he chooses to come back to the Reds in whatever capacity, he will be treated how Bench, Perez, Browning, et. al. are treated. More than likely he won't be a manager or coach so he will not be held responsible for the play of the team if they play badly and may even get credit if they play well. Even someone like Adam Dunn - a few years after he leaves - will be treated very well when he comes back for whatever reason.

Joseph
07-18-2008, 04:13 PM
I have no problem with anything he did on the field. I just don't see him as a role model.

I have no issues if you don't see athletes as role models....however if you do see some athletes as role models, then what did Larkin do to be removed from the list?

Nice person [as much as any of us know personally about athletes anyway]. Good citizen. Generous. Hard worker.

If I had a kid who chose to strive to be like Barry Larkin [the Larkin image we know anyway] I'd be a happy parent.

OnBaseMachine
07-18-2008, 04:24 PM
I just googled Barry Larkin looking for some videos and somehow come across his MySpace page...which is full of Reds photos and logos. Just a little FWIW.:)

Unassisted
07-18-2008, 04:26 PM
I have no issues if you don't see athletes as role models....however if you do see some athletes as role models, then what did Larkin do to be removed from the list?
Serving as ringleader of the clubhouse coup that led to Jack McKeon's departure would be on the list. The microphone stunt at his last game would also be there.

I have no doubt he's a smart guy. I have no doubt he can be a nice guy. I just think that if you don't respect authority that you have no business being put in authority.

gonelong
07-18-2008, 04:28 PM
The old saying, "abscence makes the heart grow fonder" would probably apply here.

Eric Davis is a fine example of that. He was routinely railed on the first time he was in Cincy ... the second go around he could do no wrong.

I think enough time has passed that Larkin would be universally welcomed and embraced.

GL

durl
07-18-2008, 04:53 PM
I was one of those people that thought signing Larkin for a huge sum at the end of his career wasn't in the best interest of the Reds. Nor did I believe that Larkin handled it properly. It was like he was trying to garner pity from the fan base in order to pull in another $20+ million even though he was no longer able to play his position well.

I was a Larkin fan, to be sure, but I just thought that the Reds would have been better off to not re-sign him and spend the money elsewhere.

westofyou
07-18-2008, 05:00 PM
I have no doubt he's a smart guy. I have no doubt he can be a nice guy. I just think that if you don't respect authority that you have no business being put in authority.

John McGraw says hi.

Matt700wlw
07-18-2008, 05:00 PM
Eric Davis is a fine example of that. He was routinely railed on the first time he was in Cincy ... the second go around he could do no wrong.

I think enough time has passed that Larkin would be universally welcomed and embraced.

GL

Maybe Dunn should go, and then come back in a few years :D

Joseph
07-18-2008, 05:25 PM
Maybe Dunn should go, and then come back in a few years :D

Or maybe we should invent a time machine and go back in time and make him already have been gone and come back now. :D

REDREAD
07-18-2008, 06:14 PM
Which is why, if I were Larkin, I'd never come back. Too many Reds fans want to lionize one of the absolute worst humans ever to play the game (Pete Rose) and throw mud at one of the best (Larkin). I'd just as soon enjoy my life and stay away from that kind of dysfunction.

Yep, even with Allen and Lindner gone, I wouldn't want to come back if I was Barry, especially if he is enjoying his role in Washington (which I assume he is, otherwise he wouldn't be doing it.. it's not as if he needs the money).

Why come back to a club that banned him from the clubhouse when he tried to visit his friends in spring training?

Plus, if Larkin does come back then he's in a no win situation. It's doubtful he'd be recognized for anything good he did.. he'd get blamed for everything from the farm system to the team's poor hitting, lack of mentoring, inability to improve poorly talented players, etc..

REDREAD
07-18-2008, 06:20 PM
He lost me long before this. I was just taking advantage of the convenient ammunition.

I have no problem with anything he did on the field. I just don't see him as a role model.

But actions speak louder than words, don't they? IIRC, he was eligible for free agency right after his MVP season. He could've easily gotten truckloads of more money and more years. Instead, he took a discount to stay with the Reds to help the Reds become competitive.

So, here's a guy that showed by his actions that he did care where he played. He spent his entire career here. That far outweighs what someone percieves as an apathetic yawn.

It's interesting that many players don't seem to care where they play and they aren't crucified for it. If Dunn or Volquez leaves as a FA, will he get the same amount of anger from you for not being loyal?

red-in-la
07-18-2008, 06:28 PM
Which is why, if I were Larkin, I'd never come back. Too many Reds fans want to lionize one of the absolute worst humans ever to play the game (Pete Rose) and throw mud at one of the best (Larkin). I'd just as soon enjoy my life and stay away from that kind of dysfunction.

Sounds like a good deal to me. I don't really want Rose or Larkin to represent the organization long term.

But my point would be....shoot, we make them multi-millionaires for playing a game and we have to admire them too?

Unassisted
07-18-2008, 07:22 PM
It's interesting that many players don't seem to care where they play and they aren't crucified for it. If Dunn or Volquez leaves as a FA, will he get the same amount of anger from you for not being loyal?No, it's a different era. Unlike the writer's friend, I haven't been sad or angry to see a Red move on in more than 20 years.

What galls me about the "not caring where he plays" comment is the fact that it represented openly thumbing his nose at people who do care. Fans deserve and usually get more respect than that comment represents. This organization gave an expensive heave-ho to a guy who made an obscene gesture toward a truly loutish fan. Fan sentiment matters.

TeamBoone
07-18-2008, 08:56 PM
I view him as a great role model. He won both the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award and the Roberto Clemente Award for his character and charity work. He never did drugs or had any problems off the field. He was a great teammate by all accounts...he even learned Spanish in order to communicate with younger players. On the field he was a great leader and team captain and one of the best players in the game. I honestly can't think of a better role model than Barry Larkin.

Amen.

Until that unfortunate incident at the end of his career, I had never heard anyone breathe a bad word about him... he was pretty much lauded in every respect.

And, personally, I don't blame him at all for what happened at the end. He was paid less than he was worth for a long time... nothing wrong with wanting to balance the scale, IMHO.

He was a joy on the field with his outstanding defense, as well as at the plate. One of my all-time favorite Reds.

TeamBoone
07-18-2008, 09:02 PM
It's interesting that many players don't seem to care where they play and they aren't crucified for it. If Dunn or Volquez leaves as a FA, will he get the same amount of anger from you for not being loyal?

Since when is it a FA's choice? If the team doesn't want the player back, then he won't be back. It's not the player's fault, so why would the fans think him/them to be disloyal?

Joseph
07-18-2008, 09:08 PM
Since when is it a FA's choice? If the team doesn't want the player back, then he won't be back. It's not the player's fault, so why would the fans think him/them to be disloyal?

People don't always know whos choice it is though.

Cooper
07-18-2008, 09:14 PM
Larkin was surrounded by craziness for an awful lot of those years. He deserves a little credit for surviving those years with his reputation in tact. There could have been more times to speak up in public --but doing so often makes one appear to be a part of the craziness around you. So he kept his mouth shut and his head down and tried to change his part of the organization from inside.

His mostly quiet approach was the only approach left to take. Otherwise, it appears he is part of the problem or he is guilty by association. 1 ballplayer cannot correct a team full of dysfunction--he did what he could.

GAC
07-18-2008, 09:35 PM
I don't believe the fanbase in Cincy, overall, has any dislike or resentment towards Larkin. I think that is exagerrated.

It was that same fanbase, back in 2000, when Allen was ready to let Larkin walk, that was so outraged that it influenced (pressured) Lindner to intervene and resign Barry.

Both the previous FO, as well as Barry himself, can be held responsible for any ill-feelings and/or animosity that has entered into or strained that relationship. To soley blame management, while placing an "angelic halo of innocence" over Barry as if he was total blameless in any of it, is, IMO, ignoring the facts of all that went on then.

Plenty of blame, on both sides, to go around IMO.

Does every ex-Red have to be working in some capacity within this FO, or it's somehow the crime of the century?

Perez works for the Marlins. Rijo also for the Nats. Is that also the fault of the Red's FO for somehow allowing that to happen?

And I also might add that the Nat's FO management, inwhich Larkin and Rijo work as some sort of "special" consultants (whatever that means), isn't getting especially high marks. ;)

BuckeyeRedleg
07-18-2008, 10:42 PM
I had never heard of Joe Posnanski until I read about him on FireJoeMorgan.com. They love him over there.

Both sites are two of the best blogs out there.

macro
07-19-2008, 12:29 AM
Larkinís numbers at first blush donít exactly blow your mind ó 2,300 hits, 200 homers, .295 batting average, three Gold Gloves, nice but probably now eye-popping.

He would've had more Gold Gloves if his career hadn't overlapped with that guy in St. Louis, and his offensive numbers have been overshadowed by those who came after him, and who played on a "different" playing field.

Caveat Emperor
07-19-2008, 05:41 AM
Barry Larkin is the greatest Red I ever had the privilege to watch play. The fact that there is even a small vocal minority of the fan base that has a poor word to say about him and what he did for the franchise disgusts me as a fan.

And I'm going to go ahead and say something that I think goes along with this -- It is about time this team start honoring the 1990 Wire-to-Wire Reds for their accomplishment just as much as we laud the Big Red Machine.

It's OK to like the "new" guys as much as the old ones.

red-in-la
07-19-2008, 05:55 AM
Caveat, love your passion for the 1990 Reds......a very exciting season.....but they weren't even the best team in baseball in 1990.

If you are too young to have watched the BRM, that is a shame.....because not only were they the best team for years, they won a ton of the time. They set some records, and blew away the rest of the league.

Larkin was a nice player, even a great player, but I am not sure you should put him in the same sentence with FIRST ballot HOF'ers.

Johnny Footstool
07-19-2008, 02:01 PM
"First Ballot" is kind of a silly distinction. Either a player belongs in the HOF or he doesn't. I can understand how it can take a few extra years to fully appreciate the careers of some players, but for writers to withhold votes for the sole purpose of keeping certain players out of the "First Ballot" club is childish.

westofyou
07-19-2008, 02:14 PM
"First Ballot" is kind of a silly distinction. Either a player belongs in the HOF or he doesn't. I can understand how it can take a few extra years to fully appreciate the careers of some players, but for writers to withhold votes for the sole purpose of keeping certain players out of the "First Ballot" club is childish.

Unrealistic too. here's the list, often who else is up for the vote factors in the first ballot guys induction too. That said I think saying a guy has to be first ballot to get attention for their great career is missing the forest for the trees.


Bob Feller
1962

Jackie Robinson
1962

Ted Williams
1966

Stan Musial
1969

Sandy Koufax
1972

Warren Spahn
1973

Mickey Mantle
1974

Ernie Banks
1977

Willie Mays
1979

Al Kaline
1980

Bob Gibson
1981

Hank Aaron
1982

Frank Robinson
1982

Brooks Robinson
1983

Lou Brock
1985

Willie McCovey
1986

Willie Stargell
1988

Johnny Bench
1989

Carl Yastrzemski
1989

Joe Morgan
1990

Jim Palmer
1990

Rod Carew
1991

Tom Seaver
1992

Reggie Jackson
1993

Steve Carlton
1994

Mike Schmidt
1995

George Brett
1999

Nolan Ryan
1999

Robin Yount
1999

Kirby Puckett
2001

Dave Winfield
2001

Ozzie Smith
2002

Eddie Murray
2003

Dennis Eckersley
2004

Paul Molitor
2004

Wade Boggs
2005


Tony Gwynn
2007


Cal Ripken, Jr.
2007

Caveat Emperor
07-19-2008, 02:32 PM
Caveat, love your passion for the 1990 Reds......a very exciting season.....but they weren't even the best team in baseball in 1990.

If you are too young to have watched the BRM, that is a shame.....because not only were they the best team for years, they won a ton of the time. They set some records, and blew away the rest of the league.

Larkin was a nice player, even a great player, but I am not sure you should put him in the same sentence with FIRST ballot HOF'ers.

They might not have been the "best" team in baseball, but they sure as heck were the last ones standing when it was all said and done. They swept the World Series and brought the last major sports title to Cincinnati of any kind.

You're right, I am too young to have watched the BRM -- but I don't consider myself a "kid" anymore at age 26. There is an entire generation of Reds fans that never saw the BRM. To us, the pinnacle of Reds baseball that we have witnessed is the 1990 Reds: guys like Barry Larkin, Eric Davis, Jose Rijo, Tom Browning, and the Nasty Boys down in the bullpen. That's OUR Red Machine.

I can certainly appreciate and respect everything the BRM did and the accomplishments they made. They deserve every honor they receive, but at the same time it bothers me that everyone rhapsodizes about the BRM days while other guys like Larkin and Davis aren't even associated with the franchise anymore. That's not right.

History is a symphony. You should appreciate the whole work and not just the particular movement you happen to enjoy the most or think is the best.

Mario-Rijo
07-20-2008, 06:30 AM
Some interesting comments here to say the least, I'll add a few of my own.

To OBM: I disagree I think his signature play was going to his right in the hole and coming up with what's now been dubbed "The Jeter Jump". The big difference was Larkin was further in the hole than Jeter or had further to go to get there at times. But at any rate when you make as many plays as did BL you have many signature plays.

To Red-In-LA: I disagree, The Reds were the best team in 1990. Oakland and Pittsburgh both were flawed teams and we tore them both a new one. It's a lot like this Reds team, on paper we should be better and times we are but we have major flaws and other teams take advantage of them to get the win the majority of the time. I have no idea how a team that stayed in 1st place from start to finish cannot be the best.

To anyone who feels Larkin was anything but a class act: I really don't even know what to say to you. Even the classiest are prone to mistakes which Larkin had 1 or 2 so how that makes him less than classy IDK.

To those who think Larkin is crapped on by any segment of the fan base: I know there are a few who will criticize for any reason but I have never seen any sizable segment of fans rag on Larkin so I am surprised to hear that.

For everyone: I heard an interview Larkin did with someone a year or so ago (Reds live or something maybe) where he said he wanted to eventually get into coaching, he doesn't feel his niche is in the FO for whatever reason. Seemed to me he just doesn't have a passion for FO work.

GAC
07-20-2008, 07:22 AM
To Red-In-LA: I disagree, The Reds were the best team in 1990. Oakland and Pittsburgh both were flawed teams and we tore them both a new one. It's a lot like this Reds team, on paper we should be better and times we are but we have major flaws and other teams take advantage of them to get the win the majority of the time. I have no idea how a team that stayed in 1st place from start to finish cannot be the best.

The '90 team is very under appreciated (overlooked) IMO. Even during the course of the '90 season they weren't given any respect by most in MLB. The "critics" were all waiting for the fall to come. There was no way they were going to get past Leyland's killer B tandem of Bonds and Bonilla. And when they did, they certainly were going to be brought back to earth when facing the highly regarded As, powered by the likes of McGwire, Canseco, and a rotation anchored by Stewart, Welch, and Eckersley.

David brought down Goliath once again.

The '90 Reds are Robbie. And the BRM is Raymond. And (in my baritone voice).... Everybody loves Raymond. ;)


For everyone: I heard an interview Larkin did with someone a year or so ago (Reds live or something maybe) where he said he wanted to eventually get into coaching, he doesn't feel his niche is in the FO for whatever reason. Seemed to me he just doesn't have a passion for FO work.

I don't think he is FO material either. What experience does ANY ML player have that merits them to jump from the field to the FO? And I have always laughed when I heard a former ML player gets a title of "special consultant" to the GM.

If coaching is the direction Barry wants to take, then let earn his dues in coaching somewhere in our minor league system and go from there. More power to it.

Phhhl
07-20-2008, 01:10 PM
The 1990 Reds are underrated. They probably were the best team in baseball that year. Great defensively, incredible bullpen, solid starting pitching, fast and smart on the bases, power evenly distributed throughout the lineup. I remember Joe Morgan predicting pretty much what happened before that series started, and the ESPN panel he was on thought he was nuts. With the possible exception of the bullpen, there wasn't any single area of the team that the club could be identified as the best team in the league. But, they were at least in the top half of just about everything. I have seen the Big Red Machine and the 90 Reds, and there is no question that the Reds of the mid-70's was greater. But, THAT was a historically great team. But, few teams since there were as perfectly constructed and as balanced as the 1990 Reds.

And, Barry Larkin was a major part of that team. It should serve him well when he is due for induction to the Hall of Fame.

RedsManRick
07-20-2008, 03:59 PM
For everyone: I heard an interview Larkin did with someone a year or so ago (Reds live or something maybe) where he said he wanted to eventually get into coaching, he doesn't feel his niche is in the FO for whatever reason. Seemed to me he just doesn't have a passion for FO work.

I think Larkin could make a great coach. Seems to get along with just about everybody, he's fluent in Spanish, and always been a leader. Start him out as a fielding instructor and bench coach and go from there. But definitely get him in the dugout. I want him in Brandon Phillips and EE's ear every single day.

mth123
07-20-2008, 04:11 PM
For everyone: I heard an interview Larkin did with someone a year or so ago (Reds live or something maybe) where he said he wanted to eventually get into coaching, he doesn't feel his niche is in the FO for whatever reason. Seemed to me he just doesn't have a passion for FO work.

Funny. I remember an interview that said the exact opposite. Larkin said he liked the idea of moving into a front office position and didn't want to deal with the travel (and low pay) that an on field coaching position requires. I seem to remember him saying he was interested in being a GM some day.

RedsManRick
07-20-2008, 04:24 PM
Funny. I remember an interview that said the exact opposite. Larkin said he liked the idea of moving into a front office position and didn't want to deal with the travel (and low pay) that an on field coaching position requires. I seem to remember him saying he was interested in being a GM some day.

Maybe a few years of wearing a suit changed his mind?